News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Parent says HJHS traffic unsafe


I appreciate the concern for my child's safety that Debbie Smith expressed in her recent letter to THE DAILY. I wish that all of my son's teachers at Hartselle Junior High School were so committed to their students.

However, Ms. Smith is wrong in her assertion that the new system is safer or quicker than before. I have waited in line, too, and bounced in my car across that pothole-filled parking lot, while noticing several breaches of the "safety" that Ms. Smith and Coach Pouncey laud in this new system.

First, many children are not being picked up via the infamous lines that we all loathe. Many are walking across traffic to waiting cars on Railroad, Haig and Sparkman streets, and even U.S. 31 for pickup by parents who are avoiding the lines. I have experienced at least two incidents of children running in front of my car to get to these alternate locations. In addition, the A-L line of children is being herded in front of cars, just like before, and I have noticed a growing number of parents parking in the lot again to pick up their children, which was a major safety concern before, as well.

When children are still crossing in front of traffic, including four-lane U.S. 31, how is this system any safer than the previous system? It isn't. It is blatantly flawed and unsafe. Yes, we need a better system, but this is not it.

My family has known Coach Pouncey for many years. I don't doubt his noble intentions or commitment to my son's safety. However, Ms. Smith's misguided suggestion that we bus our son to/from school, instead of transporting him personally (as we have for eight years), speaks volumes about the new traffic system at HJHS. Thanks, Ms. Smith, for making our point for us.

Barry J. Ramey


Roberts too smooth, slick, unknown


I don't know who John Roberts is or anything about his upbringing or whom he hangs with or what his exercise regimen is. Why is this important? Because he was unchallenged as nominee for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. That is not dog catcher.

I oppose him. I oppose him because he took the Fifth (literally) in his confirmation hearings. And the press has not exactly done its due diligence with John Roberts formation-period research. I oppose him simply because he is too smooth, too slick, and too unknown.

You newspaper people are the laziest, most risk-averse people on the planet. You should be just the opposite.

Richard Vance


Child abusers deserve stiff penalties


If the children are our future, why are the laws so lenient on child abusers? Just in the past two weeks, there have been local stories in the newspaper of two children being abused. One was a 5-year-old girl who had just started kindergarten and one was a 23-month-old girl who had "fallen off of a porch." What is to become of this world if stiffer penalties are not enforced to protect the children of today? Probation, limited incarceration and fines are not going to help the children who will be forever affected mentally and physically from the predators who have committed these crimes.

Cruel and unusual punishment? That is exactly what these so called "adults" need! The sooner that this world realizes that there can be no excuse for harming an innocent child the sooner we can start to ensure the best for our future.

While our hearts go out to the loved ones of these sweet and innocent children, unfortunately our tax dollars, that we work to pay, go to pay for the abusers' trials so that they can make excuses for what they have done.

Regina Pearson


Bush must consult donors before acting


It's time to stop blaming President Bush for the Katrina evacuation/rescue debacle. After all, the president's actions are limited by political protocol. Before any action can be taken, he must first consult with the major financial supporters of the Republican Party, in order to minimize loss and maximize profits.

Second, a profit-and-loss analysis has to be run in order to see which is better for them: no-bid, no-limit government contacts to rebuild the Gulf Coast or evacuating/rescuing the poor, non taxpaying riff-raff marinating in the sewage gumbo of New Orleans.

Only after this process is completed, and the "Blame and Excuse Committee" meets, can action be taken, The result? A no-brainer.

J. E. Shook


Nation needs responsible energy policy


Re: Editorial, "Repeal energy bill to pay for Katrina," Sept. 20.

You are absolutely correct and right on target. It is and has been so obvious. Everything Bush does is to feather the nests of the big dogs, his big business buddies. It's politics at its worst, and with absolutely no accountability!

Not only are we hurting from Katrina, but more particularly, debt and fuel; the latter is the lifeblood of our economy. We desperately need more alternative fuels — non-petroleum based fuels. In actuality, natural marketplace economic incentives should be sufficient to develop alternative fuels. But big business is either holding out for more profit, in the form of incentives, or it is being bought off by existing big business. Oil is running out. Exploration may find additional sources, but it will not prevent eventual depletion.

Question: Why are we still dependent on oil? Answer: Bush's buddies, regardless of the adversity on the little people. But then, when our economy totally fails due to a lack of oil, what good is all that ill-gotten money to big business?

You get an extra "atta boy" on this one.

James L. Nix


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